Bath, and the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset,
Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Somerset
and Wiltshire, plus the Isles of Scilly.
Southern Tourist Board. South
Western Tourist Board (telephone: (01392) 360 050; fax: (01392)
445 112; email: email@example.com)
Central Southern England and the Southwest
is home to many of England’s top seaside resort areas, particularly
in Devon and Cornwall, the Isle of Wight and along the Dorset coast.
Inland, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire
are famed for their by attractive countryside, villages and ancient
and historical monuments.
The coastal cities, such as Portsmouth, Bristol
and Plymouth, have strong seafaring traditions,
while Oxford and Bath are among
the popular English cities with visitors (see the Top Seven Destinations
section). Off the southwest tip of Cornwall, the sub-tropical Isles
of Scilly attract those looking for a quieter holiday.
A major historic port, and boasting many visitor attractions. On
the harbourside, At-Bristol is a complex with an IMAX cinema, the
Explore science centre and Wildwalk, an interpretation of natural
history. Brunel’s SS Great Britain, the world’s first
iron steam liner, is restored and open to the public.
Gloucester is a cathedral city on the River Severn where many of
the streets and parts of the old city wall date back to the Middle
Ages. The revitalised docks are lined with massive warehouses which
are gradually becoming tourist attractions.
is an elegant Regency spa town famous for its National Hunt Racecourse
and annual music and literature festival.
has many Roman remains and is a good base for exploring the Cotswolds.
Even in prehistoric times the county of Wiltshire proved attractive
to early settlers, at places like Avebury, Old Sarum and Stonehenge
– makes it ideal for exploring prehistoric remains.
Salisbury is dominated by its 123m or 404ft cathedral
spire, England’s tallest. The grounds of Salisbury Cathedral
house many notable houses open to the public. Mompesson House is
a perfectly preserved 18th-century home and Malmesbury House was
at one time sanctuary for King Charles II, fleeing after the Battle
of Worcester in the 17th century.
This region is one of natural beauty and enjoys the benefits of
up-to-the-minute shopping, leisure facilities and nightlife. The
county is justly famous for the New Forest, 376
sq km or 145 sq miles of open heathland, where deer, ponies and
cattle roam freely.
Southampton is one
of the fastest expanding cities on the south coast with new marinas,
leisure facilities and malls including the Bargate, Ocean Village
There is a wealth of maritime history in the naval city of Portsmouth
– HMS Victory, HMS Warrior, the Mary Rose and the Royal Naval
Museum. The D-Day Museum at Southsea is worth a visit.
Former English capital Winchester, in central Hampshire,
has a beautiful 11th-century Cathedral. Romsey
is a market town associated with Broadlands, 18th-century former
home of Lord Mountbatten.
a small town lying on the edge of the New Forest, with its own pretty
Isle of Wight
Only 6km or 4 miles off the mainland, the Isle of Wight has beautiful
countryside, unspoilt coastline and sandy beaches. It has one of
the top sunshine records in the country. Craft centres, parks, historic
buildings, sporting and leisure facilities abound.
world famous for yachting, also is host to many national and international
events, from sailing to boating. There are five vineyards on the
Isle of Wight, which also stage the unusual Garlic Festival every
Osborne House, at East Cowes, was Queen Victoria’s favourite
residence and is also where she died here in 1901.
Scilly lies 50km or 30 miles off Land’s End – only five
(of a total of around 100) islands are inhabited. They are a popular
destination, as the climate is warmer and more temperate than on
the mainland. The tourism industry received a boost when the late
Prime Minister Harold Wilson bought a holiday home there.
Horticulture is the islands’ second-largest industry. Boat
trips to visit smaller islands are very popular, particularly from
Hugh Town on St Mary’s, largest of the islands, where the
Star Castle dominates the skyline.
The resort of Bournemouth has good sandy beaches,
excellent shopping, first class entertainment and comfortable hotels
and flats, making the town a popular holiday venue.
Nearby is Poole which has the world’s second-largest
natural harbour, in which is the island nature reserve of Brownsea.
Boating trips make the short crossing from Poole Quay.
Portland, joined to Weymouth by Chesil Beach causeway,
is famous for its stone, it also has several castles, a lighthouse
and sheltered coves.
Somerset has three coastal resorts, Burnham-on-Sea,
Minehead and Weston-super-Mare.
Much of west Somerset is within Exmoor National Park.
The town of Taunton lies to the west of the county,
near the southern end of the Quantock Hills. The county’s
northern boundary is famed for its limestone Mendip Hills.
At Yeovilton, to the north, is the Fleet Air Arm
Museum. Somerset has mystical connections, near the town of Glastonbury,
where Glastonbury Tor has long been a site of pilgrimage.
This area is known as the English Riviera and comprises Brixham,
Paignton and Torquay. The major city is
Plymouth, a seaport for over 500 years and where
Sir Francis Drake finished his game of bowls in 1588 before defeating
the Spanish Armada.
England’s southwesternmost county, Cornwall is a Celtic
land of rugged coastline, fishing villages and small seaside resorts.
In the city of Truro, the county town, the Cathedral
and the Royal Cornwall Museum and Gallery are the main attractions.
St Austell is one of Britain’s most ambitious
tourist developments, the Eden Project, whose
gigantic geodesic domes house flora from all over the world.
Newquay, on the coast north of Truro,
is a mecca for surfers, to the east, Bude offers
Outside Penzance, in the west, is St
Michael’s Mount, an island castle which resembles
that of France’s Mont St Michel. Land’s End, mainland
Britain’s most westerly point, contains a Heritage Centre
and other family attractions.